2023 Baja, Mexico Magdalena Bay Sardine Run & Striped Marlin

2023 Baja Sardines and Striped Marlin Trip Report
striped marlin Magdalena Bay Mexico sardine run

Magdalena Bay in early November was at peak activity. We are always surprised by the wildlife encounters. This year we were surprised to see Bryde’s Whale slicing through the sardine bait ball and the huge number of Mahi Mahi (dorado) showing up to join the hunt. We had many very large schools of sardines that stayed at the surface for long periods. Below the surface was a swirling chaos of sea lions, mahi mahi, and the marlins.

This year had many more predators on the schools of sardines with the addition of the colorful Mahi Mahi and the usual fast and furious striped marlins. The sea lions typically complicating the calculated efforts of the predator fish by using a casual and chaotic hunting strategy. The sardine fish were terrified by all the predators and used us as protective shields. They even wrongly used stationary sea lions to hide from the marlin and mahi mahi, but this was a big mistake since the sea lion was just staying still to lure the sardines so they can snack on them without effort.

Striped marlin hunting sardines at Magdalena Bay

A striped marlin image captured after a successful run at the sardines.

sea lion hunting sardines Magdalena Bay

While in the Magdalena Bay area, we take the time to have fun photographing pelicans from our boat and fishing underwater. These images can be achieved by holding the camera underwater or on a short pole. It is fun to see what happens below the surface when these birds hunt.

Often our trip out to find the predations, we see humpbacked whales, schools of dolphin, and other whale species.

After 4 days on the water at Magdalena Bay we transfer back south to the Cabo Pulmo National Park for diving in this marine protected area. The underwater park offers clear water, some old wrecks, coral reefs, and plenty of wildlife. We encounter mega schools of jack and other fish. It is fun to hover over the bottom and be surrounded by the passing schools of fish. This year we had the joy of swimming with sea turtles. It is a must – dive location and very convenient to our departure out of the Cabo area.

green sea turtle at Cabo Pulmo marine Park
Mahi Mahi hunting sardines

Mahi Mahi (Dorado) added a new element to the hunting of sardines. Their color gives a new look to the images.

sea lion hunting sardine run

I will again be organizing trips to Magdalena Bay for the Marlin, sea lion and sardine hunting action (and the surprise whale encounters! ) next year followed by diving at Cabo Pulmo Marine Park. I will plan for peak season in late October / early November.

Don’t miss out experiencing one of the best marine habitats on the planet. 

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